One of the wonders of the Gold Country, this remarkable cave on Coyote Creek cuts clear through a limestone ridge, permitting people to swim or wade through the heart of the hillside. Even if you don't want to get wet, the sight alone is worth the walk. The extensive karst region of Calaveras County, in the Sierra foothills, is famed for its commercially operated caves, of which Moaning Caverns is the closest to our hike. Although highly celebrated among nineteenth century tourists, the Natural Bridges today are visited mostly by locals, who enjoy floating through them on inflated inner tubes or air mattresses. Freely accessible to the public, the Natural Bridges are managed by rangers from New Melones Reservoir, though local people also keep an eye out for vandals. One of the wonders of the Gold Country, this remarkable cave on Coyote Creek cuts clear through a limestone ridge, permitting people to swim or wade through the heart of the hillside. Even if you don't want to get wet, the sight alone is worth the walk. The extensive karst region of Calaveras County, in the Sierra foothills, is famed for its commercially operated caves, of which Moaning Caverns is the closest to our hike. Although highly celebrated among nineteenth century tourists, the Natural Bridges today are visited mostly by locals, who enjoy floating through them on inflated inner tubes or air mattresses. Freely accessible to the public, the Natural Bridges are managed by rangers from New Melones Reservoir, though local people also keep an eye out for vandals. Great, easy trail. You have to check out both sides of the upper. The beauty is stunning. Don't forget the lower about a half mile down stream. You have to check out both sides of that as well. Inside of the lower is like getting of of the boat in the middle of the "Pirates of the Carribean" ride at disneyland. The air is very cool and refreshing on a warm day as is the water. Watch out for the poison oak. It is quite abundant. Dont forget your flashlight or headlamp as it will make exploring more enjoyable. This is a fantastic place. The river flows through the cavern. From the lower end it appears to be dark, but as you enter you see that the upper end is not far, the ceiling becomes much higher and there's enough light to see the amazing rock formations. During August, the river is still icy cold, but refreshing compared to the hot weather you're likely to have. The stream bed is rocky: mostly smooth pebbles and boulders (bring water shoes or sandals in addition to your walking/hiking shoes). It's usually too deep to wade all the way through the cavern, but the current is weak enough that it's easy to swim or paddle an inner tube from one end to the other of the tunnel. At the lower entrance, small showers and waterfalls sprinkle you as you make your way in. Small (3 5") fish can be seen in the shallower, lighter areas. This is a great family spot, but be prepared for no toilet facilities and the hillsides are dense with poison oak. The short trail is steep and rocky in a few places. Part of the trail is shaded, but much of it is sunny, so bring sun protection and drinking water. This has always been one of my favorite, local attractions. The trail is well maintained and there are places to rest along the way. This trail is alot easier now than it was in the late 70's! The grades are easy to deal with and the results are fantastic! The upper entrance was a little more tricky, but well worth the view. Limestone flows, etc. Next time I will bring a small raft and float through. One warning would have to be the Poison Oak that is scattered along the trail. It is easily avoided if one knows what it looks like though. Men Nike Free Run 2 Shield Stealth Black Yellow Grey ,Men Nike Free Run 2 Shield Grey Black Purple Men Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Light Charcoal Silver Chrome Yellow Men Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Dark Obsidian Silver Soar Blue Men Nike Free Run 3.0 V4 Black Gym Red Wolf Grey Men Nike Free Run 3.0 V4 Black Gym Red Wolf Grey Men Nike Free Run 2 Black White Blue Yellow Women Nike Free Run 3 Hot Punch Neon Pink Volt Quilted Men Nike Free Run 2 Black White Purple Anthracite Men Nike Free Run 2 Grey White Blue I'm not sure if I'm going to wear them,'' Pettway said Friday at America West Arena. I was slipping in them against Syracuse and [Gerry] McNamara was hitting threes on me.'' The red Hyperflights are not a regular part of the Nike product line and his old ones were tattered and torn. He played this season without them, through a frighteningly difficult schedule put together by coach Mark Gottfried and a stunning NCAA victory over No. 1 seed Stanford. Yet when he walked into the dressing room for practice Monday, there they were at his locker. Darron Boatright, director of basketball operations, had located a new pair. Pettway put them on. Man, they're so light, he exclaimed. Pettway has to tiptoe to 6 feet, but there he was at Alabama's Coleman Coliseum, running on the court, trying to dunk. And sure enough the ruby reds were back Thursday night on CBS, clicking their heels, during a convincing victory over the defending national champion. Everywhere I go on the road, I hear, Dorothy this! Dorothy that! You're going down, Dorothy!''' Pettway said. My mom loves those red shoes. She put up my first basketball goal on a telephone pole. She kept basketball alive for me.'' Odd, isn't it, that a pair of sneakers would be better known nationally than the athlete inside them. Odd, isn't it, that the subsequent references to Oz would become better known than his formative years down on the farm. Pettway bought those shoes at the mall a few years back, Alabama won a game on ESPN and the ruby sneakers took off. Women in the high roller booster section at Coleman Coliseum put red coverings on their shoes in homage. A Pettway bobblehead doll that was given out at the Vanderbilt game this season wore sure enough red shoes. I've got to admit that bobblehead looked just like me,'' Pettway said. You can hate Alabama today, Connecticut. You can hate George Wallace and Bear Bryant and your face can become flush with crimson rage against the Tide. But you can't hate this kid. Antoine is the heart and soul of our team,'' Gottfried said. He is a great story.'' He never takes a play off,'' teammate Kennedy Winston said. Never.'' His rural drawl of the Deep South sounds almost foreign to a New England ear, yet in the end it makes this Faulkner like character even more compelling. Think about Taliek Brown, the senior UConn point guard. He arrived as part of the ballyhooed threesome of New York high school guards who filled the pages of Sports Illustrated. Pettway was a walk on. He went to Alabama on a partial academic scholarship. Think about No. 50 in a UConn uniform. Emeka Okafor has a 3.8 grade point average and will graduate in three years. He is one of the great scholar athletes of this generation. No. 50 in the red shoes isn't so shabby either. He had a 4.0 GPA in high school, was class salutatorian and plans to use his college degree in healthcare management for a career in pharmaceutical sales. Announcer Tim Brando called Pettway the example of what college athletics should be.'' My mom heard that,'' Pettway said, and she was in tears.'' His parents were divorced when Antoine was young. Antoine learned to shoot all net because you don't bank 'em in when a telephone pole is the backboard. When he was 12, he moved in with his dad, who would be his high school coach. Joseph Pettway owned a farm in Alberta out in Wilcox County, an area known in Alabama as the Black Belt. We had four pastures of cows,'' Antoine said. In the summer, I'd be in the hay fields from sunup to sundown. When I was 12, I wasn't strong enough to pick up the 35 pound bale of hay. I drove the truck. When I was 13 my dad put me in the field. We'd run behind the truck, throwing in 500 bales of hay. It was 90 degrees. Hay was sticking into you. Man, I hated it. I wanted to go back with my mom.'' Did you get paid? No,'' he answered. I got to eat. And he loved Alabama. He loved Alabama football. He loved Alabama basketball. His dad graduated from Alabama and so did his stepmom. His mom attended Stillman, also in Tuscaloosa. Antoine was born at DCH Regional Medical Center, two blocks from where he plays college ball. Pettway rattles off the names James Hollywood'' Robinson and Jason Caffey, Robert Horry and Latrell Sprewell. Men Nike Free Run 2 Shield Stealth Black Yellow Grey,It's prudent to assume GDSs may cut incentives midcontractLegal BriefsBy Mark Pestronk Q: In last week's column [" "], you were fairly confident about the prospects for continuation of the current GDS centered travel distribution system, as the GDSs appear to have gained power at the expense of the airlines. However, I have heard that the current five year contracts between the vendors and the major airlines call for booking fees to decline each year, and I have also heard that the airlines can get out of their contracts if they want to do so. Are these things true, and if so, doesn't it mean that GDS incentives are going to get cut before the five year contracts end? A: The only people who know the answers to these questions aren't talking to the trade press, the trade or me, so the contents of the full content agreements remain largely a secret. As with all price terms related to airline booking fees, the parties are required by their agreements to maintain confidentiality. The only GDS vendor that filed copies of its full content agreements with the Securities and Exchange Commission was Worldspan, as its lawyers must have advised that the agreements were "material" and needed to be disclosed. However, the publicly available versions of the agreements contain numerous blacked out passages, including all the booking fees and the escape clauses. Even the heavily edited versions of the Worldspan agreements, which were taken over as part of the Travelport acquisition and so remain intact, show that each airline's agreement is different. So it is really not safe to generalize about the level of booking fees or the escape clauses for the airlines. One interesting piece of empirical evidence tends to show that booking fees are not scheduled to decline: in the year and a half since the agreements took effect, incentives promised to agencies under new GDS contracts have not declined. Rather, they have steadily increased. There are actually three possibilities here: Yearly declines in booking fees are just a rumor. The vendors are committing suicide by promising ever higher incentives. The vendors plan to exercise their rights to cut incentives under their existing agency contracts when airline booking fees go down. Since the answer remains shrouded in mystery, it is probably prudent to assume that the third possibility is correct, and the vendors plan to reduce incentives under existing contracts. Therefore, sharp agency owners need to try to negotiate GDS contracts that prohibit or at least limit their vendor's ability to impose such cuts mid contract. I am also worried about another phenomenon: If the major airlines have lost leverage with the GDS vendors, they may try an end run around the vendors by simply imposing a big fee directly on agencies for all GDS bookings. Such a fee would be collected by ARC, which has lately shown itself to be a very willing collaborator with any airline's scheme to wring more money out of travel agencies. offer 'Beercation' packageThe JW Marriott Chicago has partnered with the Lagunitas Brewing Co. to offer the Lagunitas Beercation package through Dec. 31.
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